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3 Gentech-§§: Biosafety legislation enhanced in China

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TITLE:  Bio-safety Legislation Enhanced in China
SOURCE: Xinhua, Beijing, China
DATE:   April 13, 1999


Legislation on bio-safety administration, to protect human health and the environment, is about to be strengthened in China. Authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about potential risks which may arise from the increasing application of gene engineering techniques, according to today's China Daily. The central government is drafting a National Framework for bio-safety Administration. This will provide the basis for a set of legal regulations to be worked out by the State to standardize application and management of gene technology and its products, said Yang Chaofei, department director in charge of ecology preservation with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). The regulations will function as a technical guidebook for professionals to avoid risks, said Yang, who believes the framework and  regulation will boost healthy development of the bio- industry in  China. Headed by SEPA, eight state departments are participating in drafting  the framework,!
 which is expected to be completed around the middle of the year.

Chinese scientists estimate bio-technology will become a major sector for economic growth in China during the next century. Gene-transformation could enhance crops' resistance against adverse natural conditions such as drought and cold, as well as pesticides to greatly increase grain output to feed China, which has the world's largest population. China has developed 47 species of gene-transformation plants, seven of which are under field testing. China, since 1993, has promulgated three sets of regulations: Gene Engineering Safety Administration, Agriculture Biological Gene Engineering Safety Administration and Human Genetic Resources Management. 


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